Driving creative and effective solutions for Australian Government
Government Customer Experience: The Key to Mission Success
28 May 2020 Carla West
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed shortfalls in the systems of governments around the world. In particular, many realised that they’re struggling with substandard customer experience (CX,) which is hampering mission success during this critical time.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has required governments to accelerate their digital transformation journey to move as many functions online as possible. As such, the need to upgrade government customer experience has never been more urgent.
The Benefits of Prioritising Government Customer Experience
When you deliver an outstanding government CX and make interacting with agencies easier, more citizens will comply with a department’s directives. They’ll engage proactively, trust the government department, and be more likely to forgive its mistakes.
Better CX also reduces the cost of government operations and allows agencies to run smoothly. For instance, you can reduce the man-hours needed to resolve inquiries, roll out legislation more efficiently, and avoid scandals that can tarnish an agency’s reputation.
Improved communication with the public and better government CX strengthen citizens’ trust in the political system and boost their faith in the country. This optimism can have a profound impact on the country’s future because people believe that the government is functioning well.
How to Improve Government Customer Experience
Coordinating a myriad of digital channels to meet fast-changing customer expectations can be challenging for government agencies. While ample funding and the right technologies are important for delivering a great government CX, other factors also affect the success of these initiatives.
For example, the internal culture in many government agencies often stymies change. Meanwhile, the nuances of politics, law, policy, and regulation can complicate the implementation and adoption of new processes.
To successfully improve CX, governments need to address the challenges systematically:
- Design a strategic and actionable CX vision by describing the ideal customer experience. This will help the organisation align its resources to deliver the right CX that will not only improve its relationships with the public but also drive behaviours that contribute to mission success.
- Deliver the ideal customer experience through consistent CX management. Research users’ needs and prioritise the areas that meet both customer expectations and the department’s mission.
- Empower employees by providing the right tools and resources they need to implement the strategy. Meanwhile, foster a culture of shared value and experience within the organisation to support the successful adoption of new processes and technologies.
Success Story: NSW Department of Fair Trading
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSW Government embraced CX improvement as a key strategic goal so it could become more agile, responsive, and accountable. It focused its resources on improvements that will not only meet customer expectations but also contribute to mission success.
The government appointed a minister for customer service and provided AU$50 million in funding to ensure the success of its digital transformation efforts. The initiatives elevate CX design to streamline processes and make it easy for the public to interact with government agencies. Meanwhile, a framework for digital transformation is developed to coordinate the efforts and build trust with the public.
The NSW Government has streamlined workflows across 40 agencies and over 850 citizen transactions. Its success is in big part thanks to a large team of public servants who are invested in and passionate about delivering the best experience to the citizens.
One of these projects is the NSW Department of Fair Trading’s use of artificial intelligence to improve CX. The organisation leverages chatbots to ease the burden on its call centre while facilitating deeper browsing of its website and delivering more relevant content to visitors.
The department worked with Deepend to build a virtual assistant prototype. We analysed three years’ worth of transcripts using AI-drive technologies, researched the needs of internal and external user groups, and created a detailed conversation map. We then designed the user interface and implemented the technology—all within just three weeks.
As a result of this project, call volumes were reduced by 7% to 10% a month. In 2019, over 42,000 chatbot sessions were initiated, and 6,000 transitioned to live chat sessions with an agent, resulting in a potential reduction of 36,000 calls that year.
The volume and quality of work that we’ve collectively delivered in such a short time are incredible. Why aren’t we working in this manner all the time?
Digital transformation in government agencies is now a priority. It helps enhance customer experience, improve citizen engagement, and increase productivity—and here at Deepend, we’re proud to be part of this journey.
We look forward to sharing more exciting examples of great government CX. Meanwhile, if you need to quickly prototype and validate an idea, get in touch to see how we can help.